Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cult Movie Alien

Cult Movie Alien
15 mm scale

"Sorry to interrupt your recreation, fellows, but it is time for Sgt. Pinback to feed the alien."

John Carpenter's 1974 film, "Dark Star", is a weird, fun, low-budget story about a cranky crew of oddballs dealing with life in space and trying to save themselves from an intelligent bomb that has decided it wants to explode.  A major subplot features the shenanigans of a maliciously mischievous beachball-shaped alien (obviously made from... a beachball, and a pair of Halloween fright hands) which wreaks havoc on the ship while moving around via the ventilation ducts.

Dark Star was co-written by (and co-starred) Dan O'Bannon, who went on to write a rather more well-known 1979 film about a cranky crew of oddballs whose spaceship was destined to self-destruct, confronting a malicious alien traveling through the ventilation ducts:

"Look, we have actual money now!"

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Skyward Sentinel

Colabreta Anti-Air/APC Combo
15 mm scale

A distaste for excessive military production leads the People's Planetary Partnership to design flexibility into much of their equipment.  Although this armored infantry transport currently mounts a pair of radar-guided hypervelocity cannons to engage enemy dropships and ground attack flyers, the turret can be rapidly exchanged for a variety of other weapons, sensor suites, or even rescue apparatus for disaster emergency use.

Although it's often frustrating, I still find conversion to be fun and satisfying.  The AA turret here is made from an Ion Age "Moth 88" gun, plasticard, greenstuff and the end of a novelty pen.  Sometimes it's about working with what you've got in your bitz box and not being hung up on your original design (which was rather different).

Monday, April 06, 2015

Ten Years of Painting Agency!

What?  It's the tenth anniversary of my first post here?  How is this possible?  That's positively ancient in internet years.  To put it in perspective, in 2005 there was no Instagram, no Twitter, Facebook was for students only, and "Cool Mini or Not" was still my hobby website of choice.  I'd never painted a 15mm figure in my life, and this was my first work posted:

There have definitely been some changes over the years: fewer trivial WIPs and "look what I bought" posts, more comments and followers (thanks, guys!).  I got started painting smaller figures when I tried "Flames of War" WW2 models, and now I don't often paint 25/28 mm figures.  The 15 mm sci-fi renaissance has provided endless material that suits my new interests and time constraints.  On the downside, I think my technique has stagnated a fair bit from not being pushed, but I've also shifted my style to one which complements smaller sculpts.

Will I still be doing this in a few years?  I don't know, life goes on.  I certainly hope so, and right now I enjoy the synergy of painting/posting, and definitely appreciate all the feedback I get.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Danger Doctor

PPP Combat Medic
15 mm

The armed factions of human space place a high value on military medics, who are equipped with nanite injections, flesh plast, and organ stabilizers to treat wounds inflicted by numerous exotic weapons.  In keeping with the PPP's philosophy that enemy warfighters are themselves victims of their commanders' imperialist aggression, PPP medics are unarmed and will treat any wounded they encounter on the battlefield.

I sculpted some nice flippy hair on to the bald, male medic in the Planetary Militia command set to produce this now-female character.  I think it was a good idea, since honestly I felt "he" had a bit of a scrawny head originally.

"This is the third case of Arcturian space herpes I've seen today.  Honestly, guys!"

Friday, March 20, 2015

People's Protectors

PPP Home Guard
15 mm

The People's Planetary Partnership have the odd distinction of being the only sustainably functioning anarcho-socialist society in human history, existing across multiple star systems with a government based on group arbitration and consensus-building.  While no official apparatus exists to enforce ideological conformity, this governmental structure is sufficiently popular that dissenters generally find themselves facing social scorn and little cooperation from their fellow citizens.  Consequently, outsiders have variously described the PPP as "stodgy but egalitarian" and "numbingly conformist".

The PPP remain technologically inferior to their main stellar-political rivals the Cultural Collective, largely because of their refusal to create sentient artificial intelligences.  They maintain that "leashed" AI's constitute slavery while unrestricted ones represent an existential threat to humanity.  They loosely ally themselves with the photosynthetic Chloros, whose biological collectivism they admire.

The models here are The Ion Age's Planetary Militia and Hazelwurm Patrol Car.  I'm hoping to paint up a bunch more of these troops in the near future, they have a nice mid-tech look and the sculpts are easy to paint well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blades of Vengeance

Ghost Warrior
15 mm

This figure "Xin Youxia" was the Ion Age monthly giveaway for February.  I tried to diverge from the catalogue paint job and give her a distinctive look; I think I succeeded...

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Dome Sweet Dome

Ion Age Geo Shelters
15 mm scale

Geo Shelters are the smaller of Ion Age's two basic building types, the other being the Hab Dome. I painted up two types, the laboratory (left) and the habitation (right).  More than just a high-tech tent, they still appear to be cramped temporary structures erected for military or exploration use.

Sgt. Barnes and his troopers discover what really happened to the exobiology team.

Stealthy Slayers

“When we’re on a mission, I keep count of how many ninja my father kills. He says not to keep count, only to pray for their souls. But if I don’t keep count, I don’t know how many souls to pray for. So I keep count. So far it’s three hundred and forty-two.”

Honestly, Rebel Miniatures' ninjas are not the best figures out there.   They have some weird proportions, giant hands and some oddly-placed lumpy bits, and some more weapon variety would be nice.  But "90% of success is showing up", and for under twelve bucks you get a big bag of them, so hey.

As usual, I don't have time to paint the whole horde...  I did a minor weapon swap on one of them, rope for spear.  I tried to position the lariat so he poses well with other figures:

Worked pretty well, I think!  Perhaps not so sturdy for gaming but it might make for some fun photos.